Campaign launched to commemorate the life of Simon of Sudbury

Pictured outside the Brewery Tap in Sudbury at the launch to commemorate the Peasants' Revolt and Si

Pictured outside the Brewery Tap in Sudbury at the launch to commemorate the Peasants' Revolt and Simon of Sudbury's death are from left to right, Rev Canon Cheryl Collins from St Gregory's Church; organiser of the event Eddie Bone; Steve Simms the owner of Mauldon's Brewery; singer/songwriter Jonny Day; Brewery Tap manager Jonny Hamblin; and artist Michelle Ranson. - Credit: Archant

Victim or villain? That’s the question being posed about Simon of Sudbury as part of a campaign to raise his profile and also promote the historic influence of the murdered Archbishop of Canterbury.

Pictured raising a toast to Simon of Sudbury with the new Bishop's Head beer is Steve Sims, owner of

Pictured raising a toast to Simon of Sudbury with the new Bishop's Head beer is Steve Sims, owner of Mauldon's Brewery, left, and organisers of the event Eddie Bone. - Credit: Archant

It’s the brainchild of Eddie Bone who has gathered together a range of people and events over the coming weeks and months to help identify the significant impact the once Chancellor of England had on the history of the town.

A new beer called Bishop’s Head has been created by boutique brewers Mauldons. which is based on the Chilton Industrial Estate; a folk music event organised on the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381 which centred round Simon of Sudbury; a debate; a pub crawl challenge; and a commemorative walk from the Tower of London to Sudbury.

A special launch of the campaign was held at the Brewery Tap pub, in East Street, on Wednesday with the Rev Canon Cheryl Collins, from St Gregory’s Church, saying a prayer and blessing the new brew.

Mr Bone, who lives in the town and is a nurse at Colchester Hospital, said: “Simon played a significant but unwilling role in the developing history of England and we are asking the people of Suffolk and of Sudbury to either celebrate or reflect on their rich history.

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“For 600 years, Simon of Sudbury’s head has been kept in St Gregory’s Church, Sudbury. But how much do we know about his life and how he was killed? How much do we know about the Peasants’ Revolt and why it changed English history?

“We hope that everyone joins in and enjoys the pub crawl during the week of Saint George’s Day (April 23 to 29). This will help raise funds for a display at the church and the debate that discusses if Simon of Sudbury was a victim or villain.”

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Each of the 13 pubs during the week will display a banner outlining the history of Simon of Sudbury and of the Peasants’ Revolt so that people can relish the history while enjoying a drink.

And there’s a chance to win a £100 pub voucher with an appeal for donations to be made to help design the production of 11 banners explaining Simon’s history, the revolt and the creation of a cabinet to display his head.

To make a donation go to

The formal debate entitled “Simon of Sudbury- Victim or Villain?” will be held on June 15, at St Gregory’s Church, at 7pm.

Simon of Sudbury was beheaded during the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381 and his skull has remained in the vestry at St Gregory’s ever since and back in 2011 forensic experts unveiled the latest facial reconstruction techniques to recreate his looks.


Simon of Sudbury became the Archibishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England in 1381.

Simon of Sudbury was an advisor most directly connected to introducing the first ever poll tax.

In 1381 a Peasants’ Revolt had marched an overwhelming force into London and trapped most of the main government ministers in the Tower of London.

Simon of Sudbury was responsible for starting the virtual total rebuilding of St Gregory’s Church. He drew up the constituion for John Colney’s St Leonards Leper Hospital situated in Melford Road and started a college in Sudbury.

Simon of Sudbury’s severed and incredibly well-preserved skull has been resident in a cubby at St Gregory’s Church for the last 600 years. The mould is a reconstructon of Simon’s real-life appearance.

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